Darkmere by Helen Maslin Review

Image Source: Goodreads

Image Source: Goodreads

A castle. A curse. A dangerous summer.

Leo has invited Kate and a few friends to spend the summer at his inheritance, Darkmere Castle: as wild and remote as it is beautiful. Kate thinks it will be the perfect place for her and Leo to get together – but instead, she’s drawn into the dark story of a young nineteenth-century bride who haunts the tunnels and towers of the house. And whose curse now hangs over them all. (Synopsis taken from Goodreads)

Darkmere by Helen Maslin

Release Date: 6th August, 2015

Pages: 368

Publisher: Chicken House

Format: Paperback

Source: Purchase

I tried hard to like Darkmere by Helen Maslin. I really did. I honestly feel quite apathetic towards Darkmere. Having said that, I do have some points to make about the book and, sadly, most of them are negative.

To be honest, I found the whole story to be unoriginal and predictable. There are two storylines that run concurrently throughout Darkmere and that is something that I like as a writing device. However, it was really easy to see which direction the storylines were heading in. When events occur in the book, I wasn’t reading anything new. Nothing about the plot made Darkmere stand out from the rest of YA fiction.

Darkmere presented me with a host of characters that I just didn’t care for. I couldn’t find anything about the characters that was likeable and I wasn’t able to gel with Kate, the main character in the story. This made it difficult for me to root for Kate and I found myself not really caring what happened to her as a character. As I have been writing this review, I have been trying to remember other details about Kate and her fellow characters but I can’t. Kate, her friends and the other characters we meet just aren’t memorable.

One thing I did appreciate about the book is that the characters are affected by issues that real teenagers have to deal with. The characters have problems at home, drink alcohol and smoke weed, amongst other things. References to these things, however, got old after a while and sometimes it felt like partying and going to the beach were the only things happening in the book.

By the end of the novel I was bored. This is mainly because Darkmere is too predictable and pretty uneventful. I do have to say, though, that the writing is the strongest part of the novel. It was the writing that encouraged me to continue with the book. I do believe that the author has the ability to write something special, so I will be keeping an eye out for any future novels that she publishes. Darkmere will hopefully be a stepping stone to greater things for Helen Maslin.

2/5 stars

– Liz


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